Gowher Rizvi: ‘(NRC) internal exercise, why should we raise it?’

Shubhajit Roy speaks to Gowher Rizvi, bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina’s foreign affairs advisor on PM Modi’s visit, bilateral ties, the Rohingya issue and the NRC.

What are your expectations from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit more than five years later?

This is a very important visit for us. The fact that Prime Minister Modi has chosen to come to bangladesh — the first overseas trip in post-Covid period — shows the importance he is attaching to Bangladesh. The fact that he is coming not only for this centenary celebrations of Bangabandhu, but also this is the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence. And so, in many ways, he is coming both to celebrate our 50 years, but also to celebrate what we did together in 1971. So in some sense, our independence celebration is a joint celebration for India and Bangladesh. It is very significant. Yes, we gave lots of lives, 3 million lives, but without India’s help, and without Indian soldiers shedding their blood, we may have had to struggle for many, many more years.

He is the first head of government who is going to go to Tungipara to pay his respects to the Father of the Nation (Sheikh Mujibur Rahman). And this single act has greatly endeared him to every one in Bangladesh.

He is making it a very special occasion. While the occasion for his visit is celebratory, obviously, we have a lot to talk. Bangladesh and India relations are deeper, wider and better than any time in our 50 years of history.

You will say,…

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